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J&K to have Anti-Corruption Bureau

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ACB to do away with shortcomings, multiplicity of roles in existing anti-graft mechanism: CS

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 24: To tackle and eradicate corruption in the State in a more effective and meaningful manner, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik gave nod for setting up the first-ever “Anti-Corruption Bureau” in the State.

Advisors to the Governor B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam were present at the meeting.

Briefing about the significant decision, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said the establishment of full-fledged Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) would do away with the shortcomings and multiplicity of roles in the existing anti-corruption mechanism operational in the State.

He said that ever since the placement of the State under the Governor’s Rule, the Governor’s Administration has been single-mindedly pursuing the agenda for improving delivery of development and governance in a transparent and result-oriented manner.

Keeping this objective in view, he said, the Governor’s Administration has worked out a mission which shifts the focus from outlays to outcomes and improving governance through various initiatives which, inter-alia, include establishment of cells for (a) public grievance redressal (b) monitoring identified mega projects and flagship programmes and (c) setting up of an Anti-Corruption Bureau based on the best models in the country.

Chief Secretary said with a view to providing clean, transparent and people-centric governance to the people, the Governor’s Administration recognized the need to tackle the menace of corruption as critical to good governance in the State. To achieve this, strengthening of the Anti-Corruption Laws and the Vigilance Organization based on the best models in the country has been accorded top priority.

He said in the State, at present, there is a Vigilance Organization which implements the various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat, 2006. There is a State Vigilance Commission also. Under the existing set up, many shortcomings have been noticed which hamper the effective implementation of the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Laws, he said and added that the establishment of ACB would do away with the shortcomings in the existing anti-corruption mechanism and make it more effective in tackling graft.

He said the SAC in an earlier meeting accordingly decided to set up an “Anti-Corruption Bureau” which shall be based on the best models in the Country.

Giving details, the Chief Secretary said based on careful analysis and study of the various models of the States in particular, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, a new framework/apparatus under the nomenclature “Anti-Corruption Bureau” is to be set up in J&K. “For this, amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat, 2006 and Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011 have been approved to give the Anti-Corruption Bureau more teeth to deal with complaints of corruption and take these to their logical end,” he said.

He said under the Anti-Corruption Bureau, it is also planned to set up 6 additional Police Stations at Udhampur (jurisdiction Udhampur and Reasi Districts), Rajouri (Rajouri and Poonch Districts), Doda (Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban Districts), Anantnag (Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian Districts), Baramulla (Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal Districts) and Central (whole of the State). While the existing 2 Police Stations of Jammu will have jurisdiction of Jammu, Samba and Kathua Districts, Srinagar Police Station will have jurisdiction of Srinagar, Budgam, Leh and Kargil Districts, he said.

SAC approves ‘Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018’

Gives nod to promotion of J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service officers; nominates DDCs as District Programme Coordinators for coordination, monitoring of MGNREGA

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 24: The State Administrative Council (SAC) today approved the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018’.

The Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 makes a provision for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services or both by the State of Jammu and Kashmir.  The said Act is a replica of the Central Act on the subject.  The Central Goods and Service Tax Act has been amended by the Central Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2018.

Accordingly, Finance Department proposed amendments in the State Act with a view to end e inconveniences caused to the taxpayers, especially small and medium enterprises viz; the process of filing return and payment of tax under the Goods and Services Tax Laws. The new return filing system envisages quarterly filing of return and tax payment for small taxpayers along with minimum paperwork.

The amendments will improve the tax administration and revenue realization under the GST Act in the State, an official communiqué issued today said.

Meanwhile, the SAC accorded sanction to the promotion of Fayaz Ahmad Lone, Director, Accounts and Treasuries, Kashmir and Mohammad Yaqoob Matoo, Director Finance, Forest Department to the Super Time Scale of the J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service w.e.f. 11.09.2018.

The SAC also accorded sanction to the promotion of  Seema Bhasin, FA & CAO, Revenue Department,  Mahaesh Chander Tana, FA & CAO, School Education Department,  Madan Lal, CAO, District Fund Office, Kathua,  Romesh Singh, Finance Officer, SMVDU, Katra,  Mazher Hussain, FA and CAO, SICOP and  Ranbir Singh, FA and CAO, Public Works, PW (R&B) Department to the Special Scale  of the J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service w.e.f. 11.09.2018.

The SAC also accorded sanction to notification of modified implementation arrangements under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme-2007 (MGNREGA).

Since its launch in 2005 in the Centre and 2007 in the State, the scale, purview and the finances involved in the implementation of MGNREGA have undergone a huge change and presently requiring time bound planning and coordination across multi-departments and not just Rural Development Department.

In the modified implementation arrangement, the District Development and Planning Board shall be the principal authority for planning and implementation of the schemes at district level. The District Development Commissioner (DDC) shall be the District Programme Coordinator (DPC) for implementation of the scheme and the Assistant Commissioner (Development) shall be the Additional District Programme Coordinator (ADPC). The ADPC shall ensure adherence to timelines for planning under MGNREGA at various levels.

For convergence of different activities under the scheme, it was felt imperative to designate DDCs as District Project Coordinator for the scheme since they have direct control over various district level officers and have larger resources at their command than the ACD. While the ACD will assist the DDC in preparation of the labour budget, district plan and convergence plan, the actual responsibility of planning, implementation and monitoring shall vest with the DDCs.

In all other states of the country, DDCs are the fulcrum around which the entire scheme of implementation of NREGA revolves.

The modified implementation arrangement will ensure timely execution of projects and generation of tangible assets in the rural areas of the State with improved planning and monitoring of the flagship programme at the level of the DDC.

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